TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) —
Democratic Kansas Governor, Laura Kelly faced increased pressure Wednesday from the Republican-controlled Legislature to outline plans for reopening the state’s economy even as she extended a statewide stay-at-home order and prepared to send money to hospitals struggling in the coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Kelly is keeping her shelter-in-place directive active for all 2.9 million Kansas residents until May 3, an additional two weeks. It initially took effect March 30 and was to stay in place until Sunday, but Kelly said the coronavirus outbreak might
not peak until April 29. The state saw a 4.8% increase Wednesday in confirmed coronavirus cases, to 1,494, and the number of reported COVID-19 related deaths jumped to 76, up seven from he day before.
The Democratic governor called a teleconference meeting with top legislative leaders to get their permission to purchase another $10 million in personal protective equipment. She also informed lawmakers of plans to provide $17 million in
state funds to hospitals to offset losses until aid promised by the U.S. government starts flowing.
But more than 40 Republican legislators demanded in a letter that she provide a detailed plan for allowing businesses to reopen, saying “there is no excuse for us not to be prepared to rebuild.” And House Majority Leader Dan Hawkins, a Wichita Republican, admonished Kelly that the aid to hospitals helps only one segment of the economy.
“We can’t help out the whole economy — I’m not saying we can — but the one thing we can do is to get people back to work, get people back to making money, being able to pay their bills,” Hawkins said